Swap-bot Time: October 18, 2018 2:11 am
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gruskal

gruskal
Date Joined: May 26, 2012
Last Online: September 21, 2018
Birthday: June 21
Country: United States

About Me

I live in Sandwich, Illinois. It is a small rural town, with lots of farm land. Even though Sandwich is a small town, it is fairly close to Chicago, Illinois - about 60 miles. I am married and have two grown boys and two fun loving Dachshunds.

*** 08/01/2018 *** It was a long and challenging year, since my last post and the changes that happened throughout the last year continue. I've started back up a couple of times this year and always look forward to swapping. Some of my recent interruptions have been typical with aging parents and some have thrown me (and my anxiety) for a loop.

Will be off of here for a while. Heading down to see/help my Mom. Last week, she had a hip replacement "removal" to put in a new hip replacement. There had been a "recall" on the type of replacement they used. It is much more difficult to take one that has been in for a while out then to put one in. The surgeons expected her to only be in a wheelchair for recuperating about 2 weeks. However, because of the extent of things they had to do, she cannot use that leg for a minimum of 8 weeks. It's been more painful as well.

Just returned from a short weekend away to attend my niece's wedding. It was beautiful and fun but there are a number of family dynamics that made it a stressful time prior to the wedding.

My 92-year FIL moved in with us late last year.. He's been in fairly good health and is pretty easy going, so it's the best of a BIG change in our house. We are still trying to workout the dynamics and find time to ourselves. We recently had to make the decision to cancel a special vacation for our 10 year anniversary.

In the meantime, my younger son moved out and lives fairly close by. He's doing very good on his own although during the summer he has to be at work at 6:30 (up by 5:30) and he has always had issues with oversleeping. Mostly because like many his age he doesn't go to bed when he should. For him though the added problem is sleeping through alarms because he doesn't wear his hearing aids to bed and he also doesn't hear his cellphone ring. I've made him text me every morning and if I don't get a text by 5:45, I'm usually headed over to pound on a window to get him up. While it has only happened a couple of times, he can't afford to loose his job and the mom in me wakes up to look for the text. He goes back to second shift in two weeks !!! I'm hoping when school is out next summer, he will have a better routine and I'll get more sleep.

*** previous posts at the end ***

Hobbies and Fun

I love to do many things and try something new all the time. I have just started making cards with stamps, inks, glitter, embossing and more. I also make stationary and note cards, with homemade envelopes and started writing penpal letters. I also love to take pictures and learn all new technologies.

Favorite Day

On a sunny 75 degree day - I usually enjoy it out on the patio with a great cup of coffee and chocolate of course. I also love going to concerts and small parities with close friends and family.

PostCards

ANY Postcard to make it a fun mail day.
(Note: I prefer NAKED and Stamped, unless it is a swap of many PC's in an envie).

It is interesting to learn about each place as well as get beautiful or fun pictures. I love mountains, fall scenery, dogs, horses and really anything in between.

  • Historical buildings
  • Museums-
  • Cafes - any coffee cafe
  • Churches
  • Victorian/Vintage Homes
  • Nature - all types of outdoor photos
    • Mountains, Waterfalls, Sunsets, Winter, Spring or Fall
  • Animals - I love dogs and especially Dachshunds. ** I have two dachshunds that we rescued. Olive and Truffles - they are so much fun.

Office Supplies

So I have always had a love of Office Supplies as long as I can remember. When I was dating my husband, he bought me a bag full of Staples and Office Max like items, for my birthday.

-Paperclips
-Push Pins..in rainbow colors :-)
-Pens
-Pencils
-Highlighters
-Notepads
-Notebooks -Post-it Notes
-Label Sheets
-Tape
-Glue
-Stickers

Ephemera

noun pl. ephemeras or ephemerae 1.mayfly 2. a.an ephemeral thing b.ephemeral things collectively 3. printed matter (as theater programs, posters, guidebooks) meant to be of use for only a short time but preserved by collectors

Origin of ephemera Modern Latin ; from Classical Greek ephēmeron: see ephemeron

I've always loved the items below. I had no idea, until I joined swap-both that it was called Ephemera and who knew there were so many others that have similar interests.

-Stationery
-Calendars
-Newspaper/Magazine Articles
-Maps
-Photos
-Stamps
-Envelopes
-Greeting Cards

Favorite Books

I will always pick up a good romance (Nicholas Sparks my favorite) or legal thriller (John Grisham and more)..have read so many can't ever put them down.

Now I love a lot of non-fiction especially memoirs.
The New Cool - about robotics competitions Memoirs of a Geisha, Eat, Pray, Love. Steve Jobs

Favorite Music

I listen to all types of music and have it have it going all the time. There is nothing that helps my mood like Music. I've used Pandora for two years and have just recently switched to slacker.com for streaming.

An endless list Adelle, Elton John, Coldplay, Five for Fighting, Lifehouse, Michael Buble, Parachute, The Script, Train, and so on. I've seen Sister Hazel enough times to be considered a "HazelNut". I listened to classical Bach, Bethoven and more, while growing up. It is still so beautiful.

Favorite Television

I love Sundays with Sunday Morning to start the day and 60 Minutes to finish it.

Other fun favorites - Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, Private Practice, Smash - oh and hooked on American Idol - thank goodness for a DVR - otherwise it would take to long.

My SWAPS

I will always send my swaps out. If for some reason you don't receive my swap in a timely manner, if you could let let me know before rating me. With other postcards swaps, I have noticed that it does take a while to get to Russia and a few other countries. If the swap package or postcards, for some reason don't make it to you, please message me and I will resend.

Previous Posts: *** 04/01/2017 *** I haven't updated in a while. The holidays were busy and it took through January to get back to a normal schedule. February I decided to get a license for substitute teaching and applied for a very part-time position at the library.

While waiting on feedback for both of those, the end of February brought tragic news. A very close friend of 17yrs. died in a car accident. This has been very hard to deal with. Most of the time having crafts/swaps help me get through things but with this I just haven't been able to focus.

Two weeks ago, I was asked to sub. So I did my first day of substituting (7th grade Lang Arts). While the kids were surprised the teacher wasn't there, it went fairly well. They just tried chatting a lot and moving around after attendance. I was happy to be there helping out the teachers. I've always given teachers a lot of credit for doing what they do and this proved it - hats off to you full time teachers :-)

Then this week, I was offered the job at the library. I will be working at the circulation desk. I've done one day of training and loved it. I've always wanted to work at a library and I live so close I can walk.

I'm heading back to the craft room here and there. I've been in touch with my friends mom and daughters and we are helping each other move forward.

*** 10/3/2016 *** I'm current on outgoing swaps and should be caught up on rating. I will be on vacation until mid-October. If I receive something, while I'm away, please know that I will rate as soon as I return.

So we've been planning a cruise (my first ever) with my Mom and Stepdad for almost a year. Now that the time has arrived, so has hurricane Matthew. We are all expecting to make our flights to get to/on the cruise. The cruise is along the northeast coast and up to Novia Scotia. We are anticipating some rainy days while stopping at ports throughout New England. Hopefully, rain will be the worst of it.

*** 07/30/2016 *** Back in the craft room :-) OMG did July just fly by. My brother is doing very well. He graduated from a walker to a cane and doesn't need a lot of added help anymore. We were able to attend my husband's nephews wedding last weekend in Newport News, VA. It was a quick trip overall, but the 15 hours on the road made it seem a bit longer. We love road trips, so we had a lot of fun. Would have liked to stay a bit longer, but it was a heatwave of 95-99 degree days, so we headed back.

*** 07/03/2016 *** Hold that thought on more crafting/swapping time. On 6/22/16, my brother fell when he was getting off of his roof. The ladder went right out from under him. He fell directly on concrete and broke his pelvis in 3 places. Given all the other things that could have happened, he actually was very lucky. Once he was released from the hospital, my husband and I and my son are helping him. It will be a 6-12 week recovery time for the bones to heal. We are very close and luckily live very close, so I am glad that we can help him as much as he needs.

*** 06/14/2016 *** Back to swapping :-) Received #happymail today and getting ready to do/send out some swaps and sign up for new ones! It was a busy May/early June.
---Returned from Portland and a whirlwind trip to the Pacific Northwest of Washington with my older son. Both the scenic views of the northwest coast and Portland were amazing, while getting to vist with my son. While in Portland, I met a fellow swapper in person. It was a first for both of us and we both had a great visit, shared crafty ideas and actually shopped at a craft store and antique mall.

*** 05/30/2016 **** Back from Florida - my FIL is just about ready to move into a new place now and my SIL will be there to help. Some of the major tests results for my Mom came back with good news! She still had to have surgery and is now recovering. I leave soon to see my older son in Portland, so I'm not in any new swaps (missing them). Getting caught up on my incoming mail now.

*** 05/15/2016 **** So while I had expected to be unwinding from work and figuring out my "new normal" post retirement, some unexpected things are happening... My 90 yr old FIL sold his home and needs our help to find a place and get ready for the move. Around the same time, my mom called with unexpected health issues. So we have headed to Florida to see our parents. The packing is in progress and we find out more about my Mom tomorrow. I'm taking a break from swapping until I really can unwind-hoping for positive outcomes in both cases.

**** Big Update 04/15/2016 ***** After 32 years of working at various places in Information Technology (aka:IT), I have decided to retire. It was a big decision since I'm a bit young for full retirement..there are no benefits from work regardless of age and I'm still too young to qualify for Socsecurity/Medicare. But my husband is a bit older and we are able to make due on his benefits. Work had become very stressful, so choosing to do with a little less in order to enjoy life more became the better option. I plan to remain active on swap-bot and look forward to more time crafting and meeting people with similar interests.

^^^^^ My favorite time of year is the Fall and this year it started out with some family visits. My FIL stayed with us in September for two 2 weeks and he celebrated his 90th Birthday with us. We enjoyed showing him our home town and attended the Sandwich Fair, visited Starved Rock State Park, did a cookout and my husband's sister came to town to celebrate as well. My FIL is amazing for being 90 years young.

Ratings

5
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Comment: Thanks for all the extras and the book recommendation! I will definitely check that one out. I love nonfiction stories--especially memoirs.
Poohtat rated for P&M Make a Choice Postcard Swap 10 on Aug 3, 2018
5
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Comment: Thanks for the postcard. I lived in West Palm Beach for 24 years! Don’t miss it at all now that I am home.
Chaosfay rated for WPS - Quote on a Postcard #5 on Jul 28, 2018
5
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Comment: Thank you for the fantastic card and themed stamps to go with it.
squince rated for WPS - Quote on a Postcard #5 on Jul 27, 2018
5
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Comment: Cute owl card!
Hikue rated for Just To Say Hello Swap on Jul 21, 2018
5
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armadillogal rated for WIYM: Pick 1 PC (July 2018) on Jul 18, 2018
5
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Comment: Really pretty-thx!
LucyToons rated for (PCG) W is for... on Jul 12, 2018
5
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Comment: thank you for the "W"ater themed postcard :)
5
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Comment: Hi gruskal, thank you so much for vintage style envelope! I love it!
5
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Comment: Hi Annette, thank you for the Acadia Park PC, beautiful . Hope you get to visit. <3 nature. Happy summer swapping peace love light
HelenG6 rated for Naked Map PC (USA/Canada) #6 on Jul 4, 2018
5
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Comment: Thank you for the nice card of Wisconsin and your adventures . I like the stamp used. Happy 4th of July day!
5
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Comment: Thanks for the great postcards and for the extras.
Zefaniya rated for WPS - I got this postcard... #12 on Jun 29, 2018
5
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5
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Comment: Thank you for your lovely postcard and the sweet message! It was a lovely surprise in the mail :)
5
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Comment: Great postcard! Thank you. I also love all things coffee!!
Response: Thank you for the GREAT rating with a Heart too! I'm in my space ready to do some swaps and I brought a cuppa coffee with me..decaf, since it's 8pm. I never thought I'd switch to decaf but after dinner I do ;-) Thanks again! Take care, Annette
dvmac rated for This was Not a postcard Postcard on May 29, 2018
5
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Comment: Thanks Annette for the not so postcard. It is a good book, I'm sure you'll enjoy it. You have one of my dream jobs. Thanks again.
Response: Thank you for the great rating and a HeArT :-) I really enjoy the library and a number of people say the same about it being a dream job. When I first retired from the corporate life, it took a while to get a call back because the library had been going through some issues with a director, the budget and so on.. I was very happy when they finally called for a second interview. We just kicked off our Summer Reading Program on Saturday and it was fun and very busy...exciting to see the number of families that came out. Hope your summer is off to a good start. Take care, Annette
jules4534 rated for Touristy Postcard Swap #10 on May 25, 2018
5
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Comment: Thanks for the great card. I've been to Chicago twice and loved it. My brother and SIL are there right now visiting my SIL family, she grew up there. I want to go back and see 'Hamilton'!
Response: Thank you for the GREAT rating and a heart too :-) I would love to see Hamilton but tickets went fast. Last summer a friend from Utah visited and it was fun to show her and her son the city, in addition to our small town life. Hope your summer is off to a great start. Take care, Annette
Maggiesmother rated for PCs Each Week: Round 5 on Feb 27, 2018
5
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Comment: Thanks for the great postcard. Happy swapping, Linda
dawnielynn rated for AMMM: Hell0 Fall postcard on Oct 11, 2017
5
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Comment: Thanks for the lovely PC Annette!
Fabriqueen rated for SWAPS Send something purple on Sep 25, 2017
5
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Comment: Thank you so much for all the cool purple items! I have always loved purple also. I'm a quilter and some purple always works it's way into my quilts. My friends have challenged me to make a quilt without purple so I'm working on a coral quilt right now. I'm tempted to make a purple label for the back. LOL! Hugs, Diane
5
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Comment: ♥ Thank you for sharing one of your precious postcards. How wonderful for you to be able to connect with your ancestors like that. Buona giornata!

Rating Overview

Overall Hearts Stars Hosted
5.0000 516 0 0
Completed Fives Threes Ones
403 598 0 0
Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Uncategorized
0 325 78 0
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Currently In

  • the user is not currently in any swaps :(

Currently Hosting

  • the user is not hosting any current swaps

Comments

CraftyMommaonaBUDGET on Sep 13, 2017:

So happy your received I was going to re send tomorrow LOL thanks for the rate and the heart

CraftyMommaonaBUDGET on Sep 12, 2017:

Hello, You have not rated me or responded to my message about this swap SWAPS Send something purple Mail Deadline: Sep 8, 2017

Please let me know if you have received

V

goinjenny on Apr 2, 2017:

Haven't "talked" to you in a while and I just wanted to say HI. ~Jen

OrigamiGrace on Jan 3, 2017:

From Cheap Postage Group!

2017

widelo123 on Nov 8, 2016:

Postcards each week in 2016 week 44

Annette, first I want to thank you for the Portland Head Lighthouse postcard. It was one of my favorite places to visit when I lived in Massachusetts. Just reading your postcard made me homesick. Though I have never taken the cruise up through New England and Canada, I bet it was beautiful. I told my husband, "I don't care if you have seen it all, I haven't and I am going with or without you". Just the name "lobster roll" had my mouth watering. Oh, the wonderful taste! They don't exaggerate when they say it is good. Lobster with toasted buttered hot dog roll. Mmmmmm good! Shirley

DeBovine on Sep 22, 2016:

HAPPY FALL!

widelo123 on Aug 30, 2016:

Postcards each week in 2016 Week 34

Annette, Thank you for the postcard of the Sandwich Fair. I wish I still lived in Illinois. I surely would have gone to it. Shirley

widelo123 on Jan 20, 2016:

Postcards each week Jan Feb Mar week 4

Annette, thank you for the Martin Mitchel Mansion postcard. I love to go into places like this and see how people lived. Boy, are we spoiled in what we have now. Shirley

Xira on Jul 7, 2015:

Hi Annette! I'm so sorry! I see I have sent you a card for the New and Old postcard swappers and marked it as 200.000th swap. Now I understand why you have not rated yet. It was one of my first, can you forgive me... and rate me? If you have received of course. Otherwise I'll do a resend. Groetjes Barbara

3goldkeys on May 19, 2015:

Hi Annette. I just received, in today's mail, one of your traveling postcards (the Stone Mill). It has been floating around since September 2013. :) It doesn't say which round it was started in. It still has room for two-three more names, including mine. I'll send it out in R43.~nancy

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